SEATTLE - This week Alaska Airlines announced it is the first in the world to have an FAA-certified flight simulator to feature technology that provides an accurate and realistic depiction of aerodynamic stall.
"There are no two stalls alike," says Captain Scott Day, Alaska's director of flight training. The new technology called a StallBox can be added to an existing full flight simulator.
But while this new technology is designed to give a pilot a truly accurate feel for a stall and how to recover from one, it's main focus continues to drive home existing training, to prevent a stall from ever happening in the first place. The test insures that pilots heed the series of visual, audio and vibrations to warn that a stall is coming if action isn't taken.
Stalls are extremely rare events, and not handled properly can result in the loss of the aircraft and everyone on board. The crash of Air France flight 447 in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in 2012 killing 228 people involved an aerodynamic stall.
Alaska has begun to train its instructor pilots in the new technology, who will, in turn, train the rest of the airline's pilots starting in 2017. All U.S. Pilots will need to have the training by 2019.